Oral health tips

4 Fun Apps To Help Care For Your Teeth

July 27th, 2020

 

 

OUR SMARTPHONES are never farther than an arm’s length away and help us do everything from track our calendars to track our calories. Today, we want to show you the wonders they can do for our daily hygiene routines with the help of these apps!

Brush DJ

Brushing for two minutes, twice a day is an important part of your oral hygiene routine. It can be hard to keep track of the time if you don't have a toothbrush that does it for you, so why not get some help from your favorite songs with Brush DJ!

Brush DJ is a free app that will play 2 minutes of music from your music library. It also has a visual display guiding you on where to brush and for how long. Brush DJ also lets you set reminders to change your toothbrush, floss and go to regular dental appointments.

Philips Sonicare for Kids

Phillips Sonicare created an app for kids to help take the nagging out of getting kids to brush.  Introducing Sparkly! A furry, friendly creature with a big smile who asks your child for help battling bacteria bugs! Brush your Sparkly’s teeth using the Bluetooth connected toothbrush and your child will win presents and other perks. Along the way your child will learn better brushing techniques, get healthy food tips, and receive awards for consistent brushing

Chomper Chums

Getting kids excited about brushing their teeth can sometimes take a bit of creativity.  Chomper Chums is a dental hygiene focused app designed to help parents teach children proper brushing techniques while keeping them engaged and entertained.

Children earn rewards within the app for brushing their teeth which they then use to buy food or drinks for their virtual Chomper Chums pet. The app encourages children to choose healthy food for their on-screen friends as well, so they learn about healthy eating choices in addition to building better oral hygiene habits.

My Invisalign

You know we love to care for our patients with Invisalign.  The My Invisalign app helps deliver healthy, beautiful smiles by allowing its users to manage their entire Invisalign® journey from their mobile device.  You can use it's reminders to let you know when it's time to switch to the next set which is especially helpful if Dr. Powell or Tiller placed you on an individualized schedule like every 10 days which is much harder to remember than say "Thursdays."  It also has other interesting features.  You can use the QR code on your Invisalign baggie to let it know who you are and it will track how far you have come and how far you have to go!

Have You Used One Of These Apps?

Or, do you know of other great dental apps for your smartphone or tablet? Comment and share below! And if you decide to try out one of the apps above, let us know how you like it!

We appreciate you, and hope these help make life easier!

Halloween Candy: Your Dental Health Survival Guide

October 11th, 2017

 

With Halloween comes ghosts, goblins and goodies—and the sugar in those treats can play some unwanted tricks on your teeth if you’re not careful.  Here’s why: The bacteria in your mouth are probably more excited to eat Halloween candy than you are. When the bacteria eat the sugar and leftover food in your mouth, a weak acid is produced. That acid is what can contribute to cavities.  But don’t hang up your costume just yet. “Halloween is about candy, dressing up and having fun,” says the American Dental Association. “It’s OK to eat that candy on Halloween as a splurge as long as you’re brushing twice a day and flossing once a day all year long.” To help you sort through the trick-or-treat bag loot, we have a rundown of some common candies and their impact on your teeth:
Chocolate

Chocolate is probably your best bet, which is good because it’s also one of the most popular kinds of candy handed out on Halloween. It washes off easier than most candies, and dark chocolate also has less sugar than milk chocolate.
Sticky and Gummy Candies

Be picky if it’s sticky. These are some of the worst candies for your teeth. “It’s much harder to remove and may stay longer on your teeth, which gives that cavity-causing bacteria more time to work,” according to ADA dentists.
Hard Candy

Hard candies are also ones to watch on Halloween. “They can actually break your teeth if you’re not careful,” according to the ADA. “You also tend to keep these kinds of candies in your mouth for longer periods of time so the sugar is getting in your saliva and washing over your teeth.” For those of you in braces these are definitely off limits. Hard candies can cause brackets to come off and can also lead to bent wires. Moms and dads remember also as you reach in to snag a piece of candy for yourselves, hard candies are an easy way to have a crown come off.
Sour Candy

You might want to pass on things that make you pucker – especially if they are sticky and coated in sugar. “Sour candy can be very acidic,” says the ADA. “And that acidity can weaken and damage the hard outer layer of your teeth, making your teeth more vulnerable to cavities.”
Popcorn Balls

Have some floss handy if you’re enjoying one of these fall favorites. Kernels can get stuck in-between your teeth and gums. Sometimes an unpopped kernel can finds its way into these popcorn balls and can lead to a broken tooth if you accidentally bite into one.

 

We hope these tips will be helpful as you sort through your Halloween goodies. From all of us at Powell & Tiller Dental Care, Happy Halloween!

 

Keep an eye out for our Sweet Swap!

 

 

 

 

Smile-Friendly After School Snacks

August 9th, 2017

AS MANY PARENTS KNOW when your child comes home from school, they often run straight for the pantry!

We understand that kids can be a bit hungry after a long day in the classroom and we want to help you provide snacks that won’t only fill their bellies, but will benefit their smile as well!

Try These Smile-Friendly Snacks!

Consuming a lot of starchy and sugary treats in the afternoon can do a number on a child’s teeth—not to mention ruin their appetite for dinner! Sticky, sugary snacks can adhere to your child’s teeth for long periods of time, potentially causing harmful cavities. In order to avoid snack-induced cavities and other oral health concerns, try these ideas instead:

Leafy Greens and Fresh Veggies

Dark, leafy greens like kale, spinach, and collard greens have calcium, vitamin A, vitamin B2, and magnesium–all essential for healthy teeth and gums. Veggies like broccoli and celery are great too! In addition to being rich in vitamins, broccoli has been shown to create an acid-resistant teeth “shield.” As for celery, because of its fibrous material, it massages gums, cleans teeth, and encourages saliva production—making it a natural tooth scrubber!

If your kids like a little crunch in their snack, you could even try making homemade veggie chips! You can use anything from kale and spinach to sweet potatoes and carrots. Simply mix your veggies with enough olive oil to coat them, add any spices you’d like (garlic or pepper is always good!), and bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes, flip your veggies, and then bake until crispy!

Cheese, Milk, and Yogurt

Dairy is the go-to dental snack for a reason! Few other foods give such a great boost of calcium. Cheese and yogurt even help cut acidity, helping protect your child’s teeth from erosion caused by acidic fruit juices.

If your child doesn’t just want plain yogurt, fruit and yogurt parfaits are a great option to add some flavor and healthy vitamins to their snack.

Fruit High in Vitamin C

A lack of vitamin C can break down the collagen network in our gums, making them tender and more susceptible to bacteria and gum disease. Citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruit and kiwi are great sources of Vitamin C.

To make their citrus snack fun, you can make fun kabobs with some citrus, berries, and some of their favorite cheeses.

Do You Have Anything To Add?

Do you have any healthy snack recipes of your own? We’d love to hear them! Feel free to share in the comments below or on our Facebook page.

Thank you for your trust in Powell & Tiller Dental Care!

Your Frequently Asked Questions Answered!

December 14th, 2016

WANT TO KNOW what our patients have been asking us? Here are the top five frequently asked questions we get at our practice!

#1: “How often do I actually need to visit the dentist?”
For most people, twice a year. Even if you do have perfect oral hygiene, plaque and tartar buildup are inevitable. With a professional cleaning every six months, your teeth will stay clean and healthy. We can also catch problems early at your biannual appointments, often saving you time, pain and money!

If your dentist wants you to come in more than twice a year, it may be because you have gum disease, are in braces, are pregnant, or smoke, among other things. How often you need to make a dental visit is based on the health of your gums as well as how committed you are to a good oral hygiene program.

#2: “My tooth doesn’t hurt so why do I need a filling?”
A cavity forms when bacteria in plaque produce acids that eat away at your tooth. It will usually not hurt in the beginning stages since it is only harming the protective outer layer of the tooth called the enamel. If a cavity is left untreated, the decay will reach the inner layers of the tooth, eventually causing pain and sensitivity.

Most dental problems don’t have any symptoms until they reach a more advanced stage. That’s why it’s important for you to come in every six months–we can catch problems before you even begin feeling them!

#3: “What can I do about tooth sensitivity?”
Start by using desensitizing toothpastes, which are specially formulated to soothe the nerve endings in the tooth and reduce pain. You can also help by limiting acidic foods and drinks which eat away at your tooth enamel over time, causing sensitivity. In addition, don’t brush too aggressively. This can cause gum recession, which is a frequent cause of sensitive teeth. If these steps do not help, come in to see us! There are other in-office treatments or prescriptions we can provide to reduce sensitivity.

#4: “Why are my teeth getting more yellow?”
A darkening or yellowing of the teeth is inevitable over time, as this occurs naturally with age. However, trauma and certain lifestyle behaviors can contribute to tooth discoloration. The most common culprits for surface stains are cigarettes, wine, coffee, tea, cola, sports drinks, berries, hard candy and tomato sauce. If your smile has lost its sparkle, talk to us about the whitening options we provide in our office!

#5: “Should I be using an electric or manual toothbrush?”
While an electric toothbrush can help patients with limited dexterity ensure a better cleaning, a manual toothbrush, if used for the appropriate amount of time and done with proper technique, can perform just as well as a powered toothbrush.Certain features may attract you to an electric toothbrush, however, such as the ability to gauge pressure or a built-in timer.

We Love It When Our Patients Ask Questions!

The more educated you are about your teeth and mouth, the better you will feel about going to the dentist and making decisions for your oral health. Have any more questions? Call us at Powell & Tiller Dental Care or come in today!

Seeing our patients smile is what we live for!

Have You Gotten Screened For Oral Cancer Lately?

September 21st, 2016

THROUGHOUT LIFE PEOPLE get regular prostate exams, mammograms and colonoscopies. These preventative health care exams are extremely important for detecting any abnormalities–including cancer–early, so they can be treated as soon as possible. These exams save lives. So do oral cancer screenings.
Unfortunately, many people don’t understand that a regular oral cancer screening is just as important as these other preventative exams. We want our patients to know that coming in to see us every six months isn’t just to make sure you don’t have cavities; it can actually save your life.

The Truth About Oral Cancer
There are 400,000 people throughout the world who are diagnosed with oral cancer every year–in the U.S. alone, that’s about 100 new cases every day. Oral cancer is a particularly deadly cancer, as only about half of oral cancer patients survive five years past their diagnosis.

These statistics are frightening, but there is some good news: early detection of oral cancer can boost survival rates 80 to 90 percent.The reason oral cancer is so harmful is because many patients aren’t diagnosed until late in the game. By raising awareness about this disease and the need for regular screenings, we hope to help stop that from happening.

Lifestyle Choices Can Put You At Higher Risk
Certain lifestyle activities can put you at a higher risk of developing oral cancer. Familiarize yourself with these risk factors:

Tobacco use–Smoking and other tobacco use makes you three times more likely to develop oral cancer
Age–Two-thirds of individuals with oral cancer are over age 55
UV exposure–Frequent and prolonged exposure to sunlight increases your risk of developing lip cancer
Alcohol consumption–Drinking alcohol more than doubles your risk of oral cancer
While knowing the risks can help us prevent oral cancer, it still occurs in people without any of the above risk factors. In fact, it is becoming increasingly more prevalent among non-smoking, healthy individuals. The reason for this shift is the rise of HPV, or human papilloma virus, a common sexually transmitted infection.Individuals with HPV are 32 times more likely to develop oral cancer–even more so than tobacco users.

Monitor Abnormalities And Get Regular Screenings
We’re all used to the occasional canker sore or sensitive cheek that we accidentally bit while eating dinner. While sores in the mouth are common, it’s important to remember that oral cancer often begins as a painless sore that simply outstays its welcome. If you experience any of these symptoms, come in to see us right away:

A lump or thickening of your cheek
A white or red patch on any part of your inner mouth or throat
Numbness inside the mouth
A sore inside your mouth that doesn’t heal within two weeks
Difficulty with swallowing, chewing, or moving the tongue or jaw
The most important thing you can do to combat oral cancer is get regular screenings. Dental professionals are the first line of defense against this disease and we are often the first health care professionals to notice any abnormalities.

So, ask us more about oral cancer screenings when you come in for your biannual checkup. Or give us a call today to set up a screening for yourself or someone you care about. We want to see you healthy and smiling bright for a lifetime.

Thank you for placing your trust in our practice.

Teen “Night Owls” More Likely To Have Tooth Decay

September 6th, 2016

Do you have a teen who stays up late studying or playing video games? A new study finds teenagers who are “night owls” are “up to four times as likely to require fillings as those who prefer an early night.” The researchers suggested this may be due to teenagers neglecting “to brush their teeth before falling asleep.” In addition, the study found teenagers who go to bed late are “more likely to wake up later and skip breakfast,” resulting in “increased snacking throughout the day.” Given this, the Oral Health Foundation is “encouraging parents to ensure their children understand the importance of brushing their teeth before bed, and the impact of tooth decay.” Dr. Nigel Carter, the foundation’s chief executive, said the combined effect of not brushing teeth regularly before bed and skipping breakfast is “a real recipe for disaster” for oral health and increases the “risk of developing tooth decay.”

We have personally seen these problems arise in our office. Teens who have historically had perfect check-ups are being diagnosed with multiple areas of decay, and when questioned about any changes in diet or other habits, late night snacking seems to be the culprit.

We have also seen what we refer to in our office as “the freshman year effect.” We have had patients who we have seen since they were little and sent them off to college without a single filling. Unfortunately, some come home for winter break or summer for their dental check-up to find out they have developed cavities. When we talk to the students, we find it is due to a change in diet and a change in oral hygiene habits. It seems, this is the first time that they have free reign on what they eat and drink. They may be choosing foods that mom and dad didn’t keep at home and often are drinking far more soft drinks. So turns out the “freshman 15” isn’t great for teeth either! Adding to the problem is that students are often up late studying and the trip down the hall to the common bathroom to brush their teeth may not always happen.

Dr. Carter said, “Problems in the mouth can affect the way our children communicate, their relationships and their wider general health, so it is vital they prioritize their oral health.” As your teens are becoming more and more independent, please help us and help them by stressing the importance of a healthy diet and good oral hygiene practices.

How Everyday Habits Affect Your Teeth

July 26th, 2016

TOOTH ENAMEL HAS the pretty cool reputation of being the hardest substance in the human body. So it may come as a surprise to know that while enamel is super tough, it can also break quite easily! The truth is that our teeth are not invincible, and a lot of everyday habits can put our oral health at risk.

Watch Out For These Tooth-Damaging Habits

Many of these habits seem harmless, but over time they can do a lot of damage to that beautiful smile of yours!

Nail Biting

We may refer to closely-matched sports games as “nail-biters,” but that doesn’t mean we should actually be biting our nails! Nail biting can cause teeth to chip or break as well as lead to enamel damage. The front teeth are often the first to suffer wear and tear from nail biting.

Due to the increased pressure on teeth during orthodontic treatment, biting your nails with braces can put you at greater risk for tooth resorption (a shortening of the tooth roots) or tooth loss. For the sake of teeth everywhere, let’s keep the term “nail-biter” as an expression rather than a label for ourselves!

Using Your Teeth As A Tool

That darn packet of ketchup just won’t open! While your teeth may seem to be the perfect solution, using them as a tool will cause more harm than good. As strong as your teeth may be, they are not meant to be used as pliers or any other sort of tool. Doing so can lead to fractured or broken teeth and even tooth loss. As a side note, tooth damage puts you at greater risk of decay and cavities!

Gnawing On Pens And Pencils

You may be solving a difficult problem or simply thinking. Before you know it, the end of your pen or pencil is in your mouth. This oftentimes unconscious habit is an important one to be aware of. We don’t realize how much pressure we’re placing on our teeth when we bite down on something that isn’t food.

Chewing on your pen or pencil puts you at risk for broken teeth and even damage to existing dental work. Constant chewing on hard objects can compromise dental restorations such as fillings or crowns. When it comes to this bad habit, we say stay away!

Chewing Ice

Are you an ice chewer? Chewing on ice is another huge culprit behind chipped, cracked and fractured teeth. The cold can weaken teeth even further, leaving them more susceptible to breakage. Chewing ice cubes doesn’t just chip teeth, it chips away tooth enamel as well, causing serious damage over time. Even your blender needs special blades to crush ice! So next time you’re tempted, just remember your teeth aren’t equipped to crush ice cubes.

Do Your Chompers A Favor

Your teeth are made to chew food and nothing more. If you’ve got one of these bad habits, do your chompers a favor and work on quitting. If you have successfully broken one of these habits, tell us how in the comments below!

Our patients rock!

How Dental Sealants Can Protect Your Child’s Teeth

July 7th, 2016

DID YOU KNOW, on average, a child smiles around 400 times per day? That’s up to ten times more than the average adult! No matter how many times your little one smiles, we want to help them make sure theirs remains healthy throughout their childhood.
One way to protect your child’s pearly whites is by applying dental sealants.

Dental Sealants Protect Teeth From Tooth Decay

A dental sealant—also known as a pit and fissure sealant—is a protective barrier placed on the chewing surfaces of teeth in order to seal out food and bacteria which result in cavities. These sealants are often made of a plastic-like material and applied in a thin layer to fill hard-to-clean recesses in teeth known as fissures in the premolars and molars, and cingulum pits found in canines and incisors.

Application Of Dental Sealants Is Quick And Easy!
The application of sealants is a quick and comfortable process, and usually only takes one visit!

First, the surface of your child’s teeth are polished and cleaned of any plaque or food debris.
Next, each tooth receiving sealants will be isolated and dried.
The teeth are then etched to allow the sealant to adhere more securely and then rinsed and dried to prepare for the sealant application.
The sealant is then applied to each tooth and cured by a special light to bond the sealant to the teeth.
Finally the new sealants will be evaluated and once hardened, will be safe to chew on!
When Should Your Child Get Sealants?

Children should get dental sealants as soon as possible after their permanent teeth erupt. This happens at a different time in each child’s life, but most children will begin to get their first permanent teeth around the age of 6.

Children often develop dental caries (cavities) in the pits and fissures of these new permanent teeth because they can be very difficult to clean,even if they are brushing and flossing properly. If sealants are applied soon after permanent teeth erupt, food and bacteria don’t have the chance to settle in these crevices and your child child can reduce their chance of cavities by 80 percent. Studies show that sealants can remain effective for many years if properly cared for.

We Can Help Protect Your Child’s Smile
Each and every smile is precious, and we are committed to ensuring your child’s remains happy and healthy as they continue to grow. If you have any questions about dental sealants, please call and make an appointment today! We’d love to answer any questions you might have about your family’s oral health care needs.

Thank you for continuing to be part of our practice family!